White Burgundies peak too soon
Producers in Burgundy are under attack from critics who claim that many wines are undrinkable when they should be at their peak due to premature oxidation.
The wines worst affected include some of the most prestigious in Burgundy, including Meursault and Montrachet and the problem was noticed first in wines from the 1995 vintage. Critic Steven Tanzer brought it to the public's attention when the 1996 vintage showed similar signs of early oxidation. Since then dedicated websites have sprung up with a wiki site 'oxidised burgs' detailing the vintages and the producers concerned.
While all white wine gradually oxidises in the bottle, going darker and developing different flavours, it shouldn't happen to fine burgundies for several years and sometimes decades. Explanations for the problem include the climate, production techniques and the quality of corks. But producers deny the problem exists and aren't replacing the wines, according to a report in Le Figaro newspaper.